Zalat Pizza, the Texas-based, award-winning, cult-favorite pizza concept announced the first two locations of a multi-unit development relationship with America’s largest grocery retailer, The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR). Under the agreement, Zalat Pizza will place its popular pickup and on-demand delivery pizza restaurants within Kroger supermarkets. The initial pilot locations will be located in Houston, Texas. The Zalat Pizza to be located at Kroger’s Cypress Towne Lake Marketplace. The second restaurant, to be located at Kroger’s Conroe Marketplace supermarket, is scheduled to open in December 2022. The parties plan to announce the slate of 2023 openings in the next few months.
“As we continue to promote Kroger as a destination for superior food offerings, the opportunity to collaborate with Zalat Pizza, one of the hottest rising stars in the restaurant industry, was very appealing to us,” said Garret Fairchild, Merchandiser, Deli/Bakery. “We believe that offering customers convenient pickup and on-demand delivery access to Zalat’s delicious handmade New York style pizza creations will be a much-welcomed addition to our local Kroger communities.”
Zalat Pizza’s Founder & CEO, Khanh Nguyen, came to the United States as a refugee in 1975 after the fall of Vietnam. After finding his home in Houston and graduating from Klein Forest High School and University of Houston, Nguyen became a corporate attorney-turned-serial-entrepreneur. His first restaurant in Dallas, DaLat, pays homage to his roots with an American twist on traditional Vietnamese comfort food. After locals quickly adopted DaLat as a favorite Asian comfort food staple, Nguyen tried his hand at handmade, top-quality, New York style pizzas and opened the first Zalat Pizza next door. The concept was immediately embraced by both customers and critics and quickly grew to 24 locations across Dallas and Houston.
Zalat Pizza’s ability to maintain top-level handmade pizza quality as a high-volume, multi-unit concept won local and national acclaim. The chain was named Top 40/40 Concepts by QSR magazine, and chosen for the prestigious Nation’s Restaurant News’ Hot Concepts Award for 2021, awarded to growth stage restaurant brands that are predicted to “become household names” in the future. Zalat Pizza shares illustrious company with prior Hot Concept winners Raising Canes, Shake Shack, Nobu, Yard House, PF Chang’s, Panera, CAVA, Panda Express, and EatZI’s.
Nguyen says of opening the first Zalat model of its kind within Kroger supermarkets, “Kroger is the largest grocery retailer in the world with over 2,500 locations among its many iconic brands, and we are elated to partner with them on this project. We are especially excited that Kroger is interested in us because of our best-of-class quality and dedication to our craft. Our model has always been about maintaining the highest levels of execution at large scale.”
“Zalat Pizza has a romantic mission to become the first national, multi-unit restaurant concept that never compromised on its food quality,” Nguyen continues. “We strive to make the Best Pizzas in the Universe and always want to be in the conversation when people are debating which pizzas are the best in the city. This is something we’re constantly striving for and have implemented many novel internal practices to ensure we are holding ourselves to the highest standards.”